William Buick made a winning comeback from injury when making all the running on Blue Point in the John Guest Bengough Stakes at Ascot.
Absent since fracturing his T12 vertebra in a fall from the ill-fated Permian at Arlington Park in August, Buick wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet.
With no apparent pace in the Group Three contest, Buick was allowed an easy lead on the Charlie Appleby-trained Commonwealth Cup third and Sprint Cup fourth Blue Point, who was soon several lengths clear of the field.
However, the even-money favourite got lonely in front and was getting caught after being in the lead so long. Projection was gaining at the line and got within half a length of Blue Point. Magical Memory was three and a quarter lengths away in third.
Buick told ITV Racing: “He's a better horse on fast ground. He has shown today he's quite versatile making all the running on pretty slow ground. He's a good horse and I believe he's staying in training so we'll see more of him next year.
“It's fantastic and I have to thank a lot of people. First of all, Sheikh Mohammed who has been very supportive all along and this horse is not a bad ride to come back on, so my thanks to Charlie and all the team at home.
“It's nice to be back and thankfully I didn't make any mistakes. This year's three-year-old sprinters are a fantastic bunch and Charlie and everyone at home have had no qualms about him.
“We have always thought he was right up there with them and he's a horse that is going to be dining at the top table with all the others.”
Appleby was in France, where he said: “Delighted. It's great to have William back on board and it was good for Blue Point to get his head back in front as well. They know each other well and William gave him a great ride.
“He just did not like that ground, so it was a brave performance. He'd been in front for long enough, but he was tiring in that ground.
“We might put him away for the winter and take him out to Dubai for something like the Al Quoz Sprint and look forward to a four-year-old campaign with him.
“We'll speak to His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed). If the ground is going to come up soft again we might give Champions Day a miss. Harry Angel is there for Godolphin and he's a worthy favourite.
“We're going to stay in training ourselves and hopefully have some fun days with him.”
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